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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                                    &T
regard: to the European genera, which in some parts literally
form the mass of the flora, we find them but vaguely indicated
in our best authorities; and the European and British spe-
cies have, as we have said already, been almost invariably de-
scribed as pew, witJwait examination or comparison, and many
of them more than once or twice. Yet all these elements
must be approximately settled before we can attempt a solu-
tion of those great questions involved in Botanical Geography,
which place it as a philosophical study in the foremost ranks
of science: we allude to the laws which govern the develop-
ment, progression, and distribution of forms and species; the
connection of these laws, not only with one another, but \vitfr
physicatfeatures; and their modifications by geological change
We must know at what rate European and African plants dis-
appear in advancing eastwards in India, and Malayan ones in
following an opposite direction; how the Chinese, Japanese,
and North American genera and species mingle with western
forms along the Himalaya and Khasia; and the exact amount
of Arctic and Siberian plants, which are spread all over the
loftier Himalayas, and descend the valleys of the Indian wa-
tershed. And lastly, there arc extraordinary anomalies to
unravel, or to secure on a basis of accurate observation; such
as the absence of Oaks in the peninsula of Hindostan and
CeylOn, thoaugh they abound on the opposite shores of the
Bay of J?engal continuously from the Himalaya to Java; the
want of any Pine whatever in the peninsula of Hindostan,
and of Cycadea in Ceylon; and many other points of the
highest interest, that have never yet attracted the attention
of naturalists, and want illustration previous to explanation-
We cannot pursue these interesting subjects here, noird&*&
we, in our present ignorance of botanical facts, allude to t&6
connection which we think shadowed out between the geolo-
gical evehts.that have resulted in the present configuration
of the Itkdian continent and peninsulas, and the Irhes along
which certaM groups aaad species of plants have consequently
been distributed.